Here’s an odd story. Google just took a $3.9 million stake in a biotech company called 23andMe Inc. The company was co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, who married Google co-founder Sergey Brin earlier this month. Other investors in the round include Genentech, MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. Brin had personally loaned the company $2.6 million prior to the round. This debt was repaid after the Google investment.
The company is going to help people take DNA tests to get more information on their genetic health. The company will try to keep costs low and get information back to users as quickly as possible. We’re hearing this is a long, long way from launching.
23andMe is a privately held company developing new ways to help you make sense of your own genetic information.
Even though your body contains trillions of copies of your genome, you’ve likely never read any of it. Our goal is to connect you to the 23 paired volumes of your own genetic blueprint (plus your mitochondrial DNA), bringing you personal insight into ancestry, genealogy, and inherited traits. By connecting you to others, we can also help put your genome into the larger context of human commonality and diversity.
Toward this goal, we are building on recent advances in DNA analysis technologies to enable broad, secure, and private access to trustworthy and accurate individual genetic information. Combined with educational and scientific resources with which to interpret and understand it, your genome will soon become personal in a whole new way.
So what’s the connection with Google? No idea, yet, but these companies are now firmly in bed with each other (pun intended).